Monday, 26 October 2015

Cool Cars at Barrett-Jackson


Lot 42: 1989 Jaguar XJS Convertible - $9900
The Barrett-Jackson auto auction produces large prices but there are still some good buys to be had. These cars may not have been the cream of the crop, but they're cool machines.
Lot 205: 1965 Ford Mustang - $11,000
Lot 39.1: 1969 Buick Custom Sport Wagon - $14,850

A 400 cubic inch "big block" with 350 Turbo transmission was found in the GS series.
Lot 461: 1991 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway ZR1 - $30,800.

The fourth-generation Corvette isn’t remembered fondly but in the hands of noted Corvette tuner Calloway, this ZR1 makes 550hp through a six-speed manual. It’s a very rare find.
Lot 519: 1981 Chevrolet Camaro - $6050.

Second-generation Camaros are quickly rising in value. This particular example has Z/28 trim, T-tops, and a 350 cubic-inch V8. The buyer got a bargain.
Lot 807: 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible - $22,000

Impalas were all over, but one of the best buys was this all original 1967 SS. This car has all the right parts, including the 275hp 327 cubic-inch V8 mated to a four-speed manual transmission.
Lot 7000: 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Custom Coupe - $34,650

Similar Camaros in both stock and custom trim sell closer to $100,000. This one slipped through. It’s a keeper with a 475hp V8, Muncie four-speed manual transmission, front disc brakes and a complete restoration.


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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Jewel Collection of the Romanovs

In 1613 Michael Romanov, the first Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty was crowned.

In 1719, Tsar Peter the Great founded the earliest version of what is now known as the Russian Federation's State Diamond Fund. He placed all of the regalia in this fund and declared that the state holdings were inviolate, and could not be altered, sold, or given away. The Romanovs had one of the most impressive jewellery collections ever assembled. None of the current Houses, not even the British, can match the former splendor of the Romanov Court.
The House of Romanov was the second imperial dynasty, after the Rurik dynasty, to rule over Russia, reigning from 1613 until the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II on March 15, 1917, as a result of the Revolution.

Photograph of the Romanov treasures taken by the Bolsheviks.
The Empress Maria Feodorovna. is depicted wearing a parure in the famous portrait by Konstantin Makovsky.

Emperor Nicholas II and many members of his extended family were executed by Bolsheviks in 1918 and it is believed that no member survived, ending the main line definitively.
The Soviets looted the Romanov collections of art, jewelry, furniture and books. In the 1920s and ’30s foreigners could browse and buy the treasures from the Communist government.

Much of the Romanov legacy (including Faberge eggs and other cultural treasures) were broken up, melted down and sold for scrap – with the proceeds disappearing.
Curators are now tracking down scattered imperial possessions. More material has recently surfaced from palaces and even the Romanov family’s assassination site at Yekaterinburg, Russia. A pearl-and-diamond earring rescued in 1918 from the crime scene. It belonged to Czarina Alexandra. It was long kept at the Russian Orthodox Church on Park Avenue at 93rd Street, New York.

Just one earring was retrieved from the evidence trail of carnage in the woods.
The family’s former possessions regularly turn up on the auction market. In November 2013 at a sale of Romanov books and memorabilia at Christie’s in London, a heartbreaking batch of 1910s postcards that Nicholas and Alexandra’s four daughters sent to a friend brought $30,000.


See -------> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/01/seven-stones-in-russian-diamond-fund.html
See -------> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2013/03/the-lost-faberge-eggs.html


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Rare Collector Orchids good as Gold

According to detectives it was a professional job and the thieves, who left no trace, knew exactly what they were after. Bearing all the hallmarks of an audacious art gallery heist this was the scene at Kew Gardens in 2014 where a rare African water lily was snatched. It is now thought to have been sold to an unscrupulous private collector on the growing black market for stolen plants.
The legal plant trade amounts to £9 billion a year worldwide. Dr Richard Thomas says: “There is a kudos in owning anything rare. Although it’s impossible to give precise figures for plants there is a limited but thriving black market involving fanatical but unscrupulous private collectors. If someone wants a species badly enough they will pay vast amounts of money.”
Monkeyface orchid

Hochstetter Butterfly Orchid
Rare and new discoveries of wild plants are most prized sending collectors into a frenzy and it’s feared that some species are being driven to the brink of extinction by over-harvesting.

One of the world’s rarest orchids was re-discovered in 2014 by British botanists on a volcanic island in the Atlantic. There were only 250 plants of the unique species on the island of Sao Jorge in the Portuguese Azores, making it the rarest in Europe.

Bee Orchid

Lady's Slipper orchids

The albino form of the Vanda sanderiana or the Waling-waling is a rare and prized plant for orchid collectors and breeders.

Bulbophyllum kubahense

Phragmipedium kovachii was first found in 2001 and is referred to as one of the most important natural history discoveries of the last decade.

Cypripedium calceolus. It receives round-the-clock police surveillance where it grows on a Lancashire golf course.

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum, an orchid that is on top of the endangered species list.
The contemporary orchid-breeding business in Taiwan and its main rival, the Netherlands, centers on the Phalaenopsis, or the moth orchid.

In Victorian Europe, orchid hunters, hired by wealthy collectors, sometimes killed each other in pursuit of new breeds.

Bornean slipper orchid

Shenzhen Nongke orchid was developed in the lab by agricultural research corporation Shenzhen Nongke Group. The orchid took eight years to develop and in 2005, it was sold for about $ 200,000.



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